Going into the vacation rental industry requires certain skill sets that can be developed over time. The trial and error can deter many people from even trying. Whether you are looking to get started or have already started and need some advice, this article will guide you on what main areas you should be mindful of.
No matter what platform you are using to advertise your short term rental, you must be on top of the following details. First is guest communication. The platform allows guests to contact you online about your property. It is imperative to vet your guests as well as answer any of their questions about the property. This is where customer service and sales skills come in handy. You want them to make a reservation, but you also want to make sure they are a good fit for your property. I will go into more detail about guest communication in a future article.
The second part of account management is managing your calendar and pricing. The short term rental industry is seasonal, so your pricing should reflect that. During the colder months when less travelling occurs, lowering your price can incentivize travellers to book with you. Always pay attention to what your competition is charging and what amenities they are offering. This leads into the final but vital part of account management; pictures and property description. Your profile should clearly show all the amenities that you offer and be written in the description. If you have a washer/dryer, microwave, coffee maker, tv, jacuzzi, etc., show this in your profile. Guests tend to look at pictures and previous guest reviews before reading the description. Some don’t read the description at all. If they like what they see in the photos they will immediately contact you.
This may be the least fun aspect of the vacation rental industry, but it is necessary. When having guests, you need to be available to deal with issues that arise during their stay. For example, your guests gets locked out, runs out of toiletries, an amenity malfunctions or they need assistance with their itinerary. There are some fool-proof ways to prevent these things from happening. But based on experience, anything can and will happen. If you are not able to address their issues in a timely fashion, it could lead to you be liable and be forced to give a partial or full refund and possibly a negative review. Being timely in addressing issues will help avoid negative reviews and also will help the host-guest relationship by establishing trust that issues will be handled.